APR 16, 2018 7:13 PM PDT

So... What Actually Causes Planetary Rings to Form?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Only a handful of the planets in our solar system sport planetary rings and various theories encompass their formation. Nevertheless, planetary scientists admit that we have very little understanding of the mechanisms that form them.

So how do they actually form? It's challenging to say. Developing a unified planetary ring formation theory isn't easy because the composition of planetary rings varies from one planet to the next.

Jupiter and Uranus, for example, each sport planetary rings comprised of dust and rock, while Saturn's, on the other hand, appears to be made of small fragments of ice. Given just how different these compositions are, it's safe to say these planets didn't develop their rings in the same manner.

How these rings formed may continue to fuel debate in the scientific community for years to come, but without observing the formation in the process, there's no concrete answer. This is one of the reasons why astronomers search the cosmos far and wide for exoplanets - we just might get lucky one day.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
OCT 24, 2020
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
Earlier this year, astronomers reportedly identified the 'closest black hole to Earth every discovered'. However ...
NOV 05, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
No, Gravity Doesn't Affect How Bubbles Collapse
NOV 05, 2020
No, Gravity Doesn't Affect How Bubbles Collapse
The ubiquitous presence of bubbles makes them a common phenomenon, but interestingly our understanding of this globular ...
NOV 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
NOV 06, 2020
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
Researchers have found that there could be at least 300 million habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. This could mea ...
APR 01, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Detect X-rays from Uranus for First Time
APR 01, 2021
Astronomers Detect X-rays from Uranus for First Time
Until now, astronomers had detected X-rays from every planet in our solar system apart from the two Ice Giants: Uranus a ...
MAY 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Alien Radioactive Element Discovered on Earth for First Time
MAY 21, 2021
Alien Radioactive Element Discovered on Earth for First Time
  Researchers from Australian National University have discovered the first ever extraterrestrial radioactive isoto ...
JUL 09, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
JUL 09, 2021
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
Researchers have developed a "wearable" patch to detect the gaseous substances plants emit when diseased or stressed,
Loading Comments...